Vermont men’s head hockey coach Kevin Sneddon is currently in the final season of his contract with the Catamounts, and with Vermont languishing in last place in Hockey East without a victory in 15 league tries, and on their way to a third consecutive losing season, it was widely assumed that Sneddon would not be back on the bench next season.
On Wednesday, it became official. The University of Vermont published a press release saying that Sneddon would be retiring from college hockey at the end of this season, completing a career that spanned 27 years, including the past 17 seasons as a head coach at Vermont.
Sneddon took over as head coach at Vermont in the ‘03-’04 season. After a losing season in the first, transitional year, Sneddon turned Vermont’s program into a consistent winner, posting six consecutive winning seasons that included two trips to the NCAA Tournament and the school’s second ever trip to the Frozen Four in ‘08-’09. He would add a third NCAA appearance to his resume in ‘13-’14.
But the changing face of Hockey East caught up to the Catamounts in recent seasons. As former perennial bottom-feeders such as Northeastern, UMass Lowell, Providence, and UMass began investing more heavily in their programs, both with coaching changes and other financial commitments, it left Vermont lagging behind.
Vermont is in the process of renovating their home rink, Gutterson Fieldhouse, and now in hiring a new coach, will have an opportunity to inject some life into the program that it has lacked in recent years.